Supplementation with fish oil has become extremely popular, due to researchers discovering, many years ago, that certain groups of people, especially those who follow a Mediterranean diet, are healthier than those people who don’t. The assumption was that their diets, which contained a lot of fish (maybe up to three times a week) was helping them stay healthier for longer.
There has been research to support the health benefits of fish, where it has been shown that eating fish is helpful in preventing a second heart attack, in people who have already had one attack. Fish is therefore seen as having some protective benefits.
However, the Mediterranean people also consume generous servings of vegetables, fruit, olive oil and whole grains, in their diet, so fish is only part of what they eat, and is generally served in preference to dairy products and meat.
Another very important aspect to their health, that wasn’t seen as being very important at the time of the research, was that these people are also very community-orientated. Their mealtimes are very social, and we know today that being involved in your community and enjoying your meals with family members and friends is good for both your physical and mental health.
However fish oil supplement manufacturers focused on the link between health and fish consumption, because it was an easy marketing message.